People who are very sick may need to be treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital. They may need one or both of these additional treatments:
- Oxygen therapy, to help them breathe and to reduce the amount of work on the heart. A pulse oximeter often is used to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. Also, if people are too sick to breathe on their own, they may need a machine called a ventilator.
- Suctioning, to remove mucus from the bronchial tubes. A small plastic tube is inserted into the mouth or nose. The tube is attached to a machine that gently sucks out mucus. Other treatments, such as breathing exercises and massage, also can be used to remove mucus.